It is intriguing how many of the great events in the Bible were conducted on or from mountains! Israel and the surrounding area is not hugely mountainous, so when we read of someone going up a mountain, we can generally prepare ourselves to read about something of significance. This took place about a week after the time in Caesarea Philippi and tradition states that the transfiguration took place on the top of Mount Tabor. However, it is much more likely that, instead of a mountain barely a thousand feet high and, in Jesus' day, topped by a fortress, it would have been Mount Hermon, nearer to the area Jesus had been in and more than nine thousand feet high. Quite a trek then and with challenges like snow permanently on its top! Now in Jewish thought the cloud is regularly connected with the presence of God, so the three disciples most intimate with Jesus would have identified this as confirmation that Jesus was the Messiah. Let's look at the significance of the transfiguration: 1. It did something very precious for Jesus: it confirmed that His decisions had been right and that His Father approved of Him. 2. Moses and Elijah met with Him. Moses would be representing the Law givers and Elijah the prophets. When they met with Jesus, it was to encourage Him to continue along His path. These people had vanished from the earth, Elijah in a chariot of fire and Moses left at the top of a mountain. They died in faith that the promises of God would be fulfilled: Hebrews 11 v 39: "These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised." 3. God spoke with Jesus. Jesus always sought His Father's will and now He knew for sure that it was to be the way of the cross. 4. It did something very special for the three disciples. They would still have been reeling, bewildered by the statement of Jesus that He was going to Jerusalem to die. Even though they still didn't fully understand, they could now accept that this had to be the way and that Jesus was the One who had been promised. 5. Peter, James and John were witnesses to Christ's glory and they could-not yet, but fairly soon- begin to tell others of what they had seen first hand! What might it say to us? God decides on when He will reveal Himself afresh to us. We are called to follow Him. What He requires of us is loving obedience: to be prepared to follow Him even along the equivalent of slippery, narrow mountain paths!
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